King of Colosseum 2

One of the most anticipated wrestling games in a while, and the sequel to one of the best PS2 puroresu games ever, King of Colosseum 2 is finally here! And it was definately worth the wait!

The Game
The original King of Colosseum game was revolutionary in that it took the formula of the Fire Pro wrestling series and turned it to 3D. But unlike the Fire Pro series which used fictionalized promotions and wrestlers, KOC used offical licensed companies and wrestlers, and the game was so big it came on two seperate discs that could be combined into one HUGE game to satisfy every puroresu fans dream of simulating interpromotional dream matches.
The sequel returns with alot of improvements ofF the original, and this time everything is covered on ONE DISC!
Every major promotion in Japan is once again covered here, with updated rosters and wrestler stats. And taking a page from the Fire Pro series, small indies that couldn't be licensed were added to the game, but under different names and can be only be used after unlocking them in the new Survival Mode. Basically, EVERYTHING you want in a great Japanese wrestling game is right here!

A big gripe with the first game was the slow pace of gameplay and the timing of the grapple system. The wrestlers would usually plod around and you'd be chasing them around the ring try to catch them in a grapple (CPU opponents would normally just walk away as the grapple animation was being innitiated), and hit the right button at the right time to pull off a move.
Things have definately been sped up a bit this time. The pace seems quicker, and your no longer playing tag trying to catch your opponent. CPU opponents this time will come after you, and you can catch an opponent in a grapple from a longer distance. Certain weakness have also been removed and the CPU intelligence is now smarter. No more can you just use jumping sobat kicks and low dropkicks strategies which plagued the first game as the cheap strategy to beating the CPU. You can now dodge or actually catch a person out of mid-air if the timing for the counter is right!
I have noticed the timing for grapples does seem a bit slower, as the animation of the wrestlers getting into grapple position for you to hit your move takes a while. This gives you more time to listen for that cue to hit your move, but it does seem to slow things a bit.
One thing that hasn't been fixed properly is still the matter of escaping submissions by reaching the ropes. When you try to escape, the CPU automatically moves you in the direction of the closest ring rope, which is not always good when your wrestler's position sometimes makes it IMPOSSIBLE to reach the rope. Example being your locked in a sleeper with your opponent behind you, and the closest rope is also behind you, so you move backwards and can't touch the rope to break the hold cause the opponent is cutting you off by standing between you and the ropes! Control over the direction you struggle to (like in Giant Gram 2000) would have been welcomed.
They also added a nice little bonus where the game rates your performance after every match to see if the audience enjoyed your MATCH, much like what was used in the Giant Gram games. So don't expect a 100% 5-star match rating if you totally squash a CPU opponent. Your gonna have to WORK the match and not just go Austin 3:16 hitting your finisher at the start of the match for the quick finish!

Graphics and Sound
The game definately looks alot better than the first, with more detail to the wrestlers (They did Takayama a great service by making him slim :p) and the updated looks of the wrestlers to match how they look now (Tanahashi looks great).
The audio in the game is a mixed bag. On the one hand, the crowd sound more livelier, but on the other, the live crowd also seems slow to react to the in ring action and seem a bit off cue during the big three counts.
The licensed entrance themes sound awesome and mix well with the crowd cheers during intros. And then there the "remix" versions that were recomposed in sort of a Midi version of the themes which aren't so good.

The meat and potatoes of the game is definately in the simulating of dream matches and unlocking the hidden extras. There are tons of hidden wrestlers and shoot fighters you can get by beating the new Survival Mode and then "buying" them in the secret shop available in that mode. Making CAWs has never been easier, as after buying the template, you just have to load the template for the wrestler you want to make, and voala! Instant CAW! Just about everything you need is handed to you to make the perfect CAW, from the wretler's profile, to stats, the movesets and right on down even to the CPU logic! No more will you have to toil through tons of screens of body parts and textures to make your CAW look right. Here just need to use the templates supplied to make a near perfect version of your favourite wrestler. You'll only notice small differences like names (ZYMA=CIMA, Golden Hammer=Bill Goldberg, Muscle Monster=Brock Lesner?!?) and the colour of their outfits you'd have to change to make them look more to their actual counterparts (Bob Sapp's templates shows him as a white man!). But if your fav's template isn't in the game, THEN your screwed to go through the slow process of doing everything piece by piece!

Also new is the "Match Making" mode where you get to book your own shows and see if the fans enjoy your booking or not, and a new Dojo mode to help you figure out the gameplay mechanics.

And then theres the God-almighty EDIT MODE. Where you can change and tweak about ANYTHING in the game from a wrestler's stats, to which company he works for, guaranteeing you almost always have an updated roster!

Despite a few small glitches (some slow down during crowded moments, rope break detection), this is still the BEST PURORESU GAME ON PS2 EVER!!! You probably won't want to return to the original when you have this, and the only reason you would leave this game is probably after KOC3 comes out!

Graphics - 8
Sound - 7
Gameplay - 8
Lifespan - 10
Overall - 9


Blogger Joe Greatness said...

Great review, dude. This game truly does shine out as probably the best wrestling game ever on the PS2. If this game is awesome, I can only imagine how awesome KOC3 would be!

12:35 AM  

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